esse quam videri To be rather than to seem (Motto of North Carolina and many other groups/organizations) The phrase esse quam videri is from Cicero’s essay On Friendship (Laelius de Amicitia, ch 98): Virtute enim ipsa non tam multi praediti esse quam videri volunt. Cicero grapples with the visibility of virtue and the troubling matter of those who fake its signs. It was made the official state motto in 1893 (twelve years after BMI). “Esse Quam Videri” means “to be rather than to seem.” Nearly every U.S. state has adopted a motto, generally in Latin. History. North Carolina’s motto is quoted from Cicero’s essay on friendship (Cicero, de Amnicitia, Chapter 26). Esse Quam Videri. The motto of North Carolina is “esse quam videri,” meaning “to be, rather than to seem.” The motto is an interpretation of a sentence in Cicero’s On Friendship: “Virtute enim ipsa non tam multi praediti esse quam videri volunt.” “Fewer possess virtue than those who wish us … The state motto, Esse Quam Videri, means “to be, rather than to seem.” The phrase originates from Cicero’s writing entitled “On Friendship.” It translates to “Not nearly so many people want actually to be possessed of virtue as want to appear to be possessed of it.” Mull that over for a moment. Exactly the sort of thing you would expect to find on the sledging pennant designed for Birdie Bowers’ trek to the South Pole with Captain Scott (pic above). Esse quam videri definition is - to be rather than to seem —motto of North Carolina. In his essay ‘On Friendship’ Cicero states, ‘Virtute enim ipsa non tam multi praediti esse quam videri volunt’ (Which translates to: Few are those who wish to be endowed with virtue rather than to seem so). Until the 1893 act, North Carolina had no motto. The kookery of the GOP goes all the way to the top. To be, rather than to seem… An admirable yet difficult motto from Cicero. Without trying to come up with something unique and of questionable value, North Carolinians went straight to the source of nearly everything that is good in Latin prose: Cicero. The GOP needs to read Cicero: Esse quam videri. Esse quam videri is found in Cicero's essay "On Friendship" ("De amicitia", chapter 98). Esse quam videri first appears in Cicero’s De Amicitia (On Friendship, §98) and in a slightly different form in De Officiis (On Duties, 2.43–44). North Carolina was the last of the original states to adopt a state motto. 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